New Perspectives on Conflict Resolution:

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The Role of Civil Society in the Promotion of Peace

For information on upcoming courses – please visit our website in the coming months!

Program Focus

Conflict, often violent, is a salient and pervasive element of our global society. Conflict grows out of rivalries and inequalities in economics and in governance; reflects struggles for the preservation of identity and social justice and finds expression in hatred, prejudice and dehumanization. The cost of conflict, in terms of death and suffering, as well as in wasted resources and lost opportunities for social advance, make it imperative to seek improved approaches to conflict prevention, management and resolution.

Today, the new perspectives and approaches to conflict resolution demonstrate that:

successful negotiations between parties in conflict must rest on a foundation of mutual understanding and joint practical undertakings through the people-to-people peace process
conflict resolution must be linked to sustainable human development, so that peace brings not only formal resolution, but also brings about concrete advances in standards of living and in expanded social, educational and economic opportunities for all

Civil society – non-governmental organizations, grassroots efforts, and voluntary and participatory frameworks are central to the true resolution of conflict.

Why study these new perspectives with NISPED?

NISPED is a uniquely appropriate setting for learning how to further conflict resolution since we focus on the concrete role of civil society in transforming modern society. NISPED deals with the social, economic and political aspects relevant to the furtherance of sustainable human development. We have years of expertise of working effectively with participants from around the world in building the essential linkage between sustainable human development and conflict resolution.

The NISPED team includes experts who have played a significant role in formulating these new perspectives and who apply them in a variety of settings. We are an Israeli institution that is deeply committed to, and actively involved in the promotion of peace in the Middle East. NISPED can provide the insights, knowledge, practical experience and value-based approach for those seeking to promote peace.


This 12-day course includes lectures, workshops, discussion groups and study visits to relevant institutions, as well as 3 days of tours to places of historical, cultural and religious interest.

Topics include:

New perspectives on conflict resolution
Nature of conflict; rivalry and conflict; the advantages of cooperation over competition for dealing with conflict
Roots and types of conflict; governance and social control; social and political status
Group identities; ethnic and nationalistic belongings; religious beliefs
Attitudes and perceptions; psycho-social aspects of conflict; bias, prejudice, dehumanization; genocides and mass killings
Cultural aspects of conflicts
Conflict escalation and de-escalation; containment and resolution
An integrated approach to conflict and conflict resolution
The role of Civil Society in conflict resolution: people–to-people peace processes and bottom-up peace endeavors
Case studies of conflict resolution activities by civil society organizations
The role of education, the media, academia, the arts, religious institutions
The role of dialogue in conflict prevention and intervention
The “truth and reconciliation” process
Sustainable human development: a comprehensive and integrative process
Sustainable human development and its role in conflict resolution processes
The initiation of joint development activities between former “enemies” in conflict situations
and more…

The program will be conducted by three world renowned experts: Dr. Yehudah Paz, the chairman and founder of NISPED and an authority on civil society and people-to-people processes; Rafi Goldman, a specialist in cooperatives and rural enterprise management; and Dr. Julia Chaitin, a social psychologist, who specializes in psycho-social-cultural aspects of conflicts and their management.

Who should attend?

The course is designed for:

·         leaders, directors and trainer-educators in NGOs and civil society organizations

·         officials of government institutions (national, regional and local)

·         community activists, youth organization leaders

·         students of conflict resolution and peace education programs

Applicants must have good communication skills in English

Program Site

Most of the program will be held in the in the facilities of NISPED, which are located in the Golden Tulip Hotel in Beer Sheva, the capital of the Negev (southern Israel). Each room is equipped with air conditioning and its own shower and bathroom. There is a health club available to NISPED’s guests.

Duration and Language

The program will last 12 days.

Fees and Scholarships

The total fee is Euro 2850 This fee covers all in-country costs including tuition, background material, full room and board (single rooms, breakfast, lunch, dinner and coffee/tea break), all inland transportation, study visits, visits to cultural and historical places, health insurance and transfer from and to the airport.

The NISPED Scholarship Fund will provide scholarships of up to 750 Euro for participants from developing countries

Health Insurance

Medical insurance covers medical services and hospitalization in case of emergency. It does not cover the treatment of chronic diseases, dental care other than first aid, or repair of eyeglasses. Candidates using specific medications on a regular basis must bring sufficient quantities for the duration of their stay.


Candidates must submit the application form available on the NISPED website (Click here)


Most days casual clothing is appropriate. Temperatures usually range from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius during this time of year. For the closing ceremony and official visits, participants may want to bring clothes that are little more formal. For those coming from countries that have a national costume, it is recommended to bring it. It is important to also bring: a bathing suit, sun hat and comfortable walking shoes for excursions.

Passport and Visa

Passports must be valid for at least six months from the opening day of the course. Applicants must submit an official visa application form available at the NISPED website (Click here).

The dates and flight numbers for the return trip to and from Israel must be confirmed before arrival.

About NISPED, the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development

January 1998 marked the founding of the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development (NISPED), an affiliate of the Negev College. NISPED was established with a view to promoting peace and development. Its focus is on the civil society: the voluntary, people-centered, non-governmental groups and organizations who seek to work with each other on the issues which are central to conflict-resolution and to the advance of sustainable human development. It is clear that unless people perceive a growing satisfaction of their basic human needs, there can be no durable peace.

NISPED serves as a center for education, training, and project development for societies undergoing fundamental processes of transformation. These processes include transition from conflict to conflict resolution; from the rigidities of centralized economies and political dictatorships to democracy and free market economies; from poverty and dependence to selfhood and socio-economic advance. To these ends, NISPED undertakes activities in the following areas:

Training: NISPED conducts in Israel and abroad, courses, seminars, and workshops for leaders, activists and trainers drawn from relevant civil society and government bodies.

Projects: The Institute engages in the initiation, planning, guidance and evaluation of concrete projects within its fields of interest both in its close geographical area and further afield.

Consultancy: The Institute offers consultancy services to public and private institutions in Israel and abroad. It also acts as a facilitator in networking between groups with similar interests and agendas.

NISPED’s programs and projects are centered mainly on:

o    Small and medium enterprises

o    Cooperative studies

o    Community development

o    Education for peace and conflict resolution

o    Jewish-Arab coexistence

NISPED seeks to cooperate with like-minded bodies in Israel and abroad. Its staff is committed to the creation of an institution of quality, which will contribute to the furtherance of peace and development, in our geographical region and across the globe.